Questions

Each correct answer equals 1 point.

  1. For how many days is Lunar New Years celebrated?
  2. When did Lunar New Years begin?
  3. What is the difference between the “Western New Years” and “Lunar New Years”?
  4. How many days are in a Lunar New Year?
  5. What are the five elements that are associated with the Chinese zodiac and which sign are we celebrating in 2010?
  6. How many months are in a Lunar New Year?
  7. How many styles of Lion Dance exist and what are the differences?
  8. Why is Chinese New Years sometimes referred to as the“Spring Festival”?

Answers

  1. 15 days
  2. While there actual date has been debated, the general timeframe is estimated at around 2600 BC and created by Emperor Huang Ti of China. Over time, the celebration has been altered and changed as it went through different dynasties and political climates.
  3. The Western New Years is based on the Gregorian calendar and measures upon the length of the Earth’s revolution around the Sun (and hence called a solar calendar). The traditional Chinese agricultural calendar measures time in the lunar cycle (a lunation) between new moons and is the principal part of the calendar.
  4. Because the Lunar New Year is based off lunar cycles and cycles can end in the middle of a day, a month in the lunar calendar can vary between 29 and 30 days. A typical cycle is 29.53 days. Thus, a normal year can be 353, 354, or 355 days.
  5. Accompanying each Chinese zodiac sign is an element of life. The five elements are wood, fire, water, earth and metal. The years also alternate between Yin and Yang, with odd numbers as Yin and even numbers as Yang. For 2010 Lunar New Year, we will be celebrating the Year of the Metal Tiger in a Yang cycle.
  6. An ordinary year has 12 months; a leap year has 13 months.
  7. There are typically two styles of Lion Dancing: Northern and Southern. Northern Style: Northern lions usually appear in pairs and have shaggy orange and yellow hair. During a performance, northern lions resemble a Pekingese or Fu Dogs and movements are very life-like. Acrobatics are very common, with stunts like lifts or balancing on a giant ball. Northern lions sometimes appear as a family. Northern Style was done as performances for the Imperial Court. Southern Style: The more common southern style has itself many variations, Fut-San (Buddha Mountain) and Hok-San (Crane Mountain) being the popular ones. The Fut-San style, incorporates powerful moves/stances often used in Kung-Fu. Hok-San style on the other hand has a lighter lion head and shorter body, making it ideal for performing stunts and the preferred choice for pole-jumping competitions.
  8. The origins of this renaming from “Chinese New Year” to “Spring Festival” began in 1912 when the newly-formed Chinese Republic, governed by the Nationalist party, renamed the traditional holiday to Spring Festival in order to get the Chinese people to transition to celebrating the Western New Year. During this period, many Chinese intellectuals felt that modernization meant doing all the things as the West did.

How’d you do?

6-8 points: You are officially a Lunar New Year expert. Go celebrate the culture with pride!

4-6 points: You have a thirst for history, but still need to continue drinking from that fountain of information.

1-3 points: You need to come to a celebration and get your Lunar New Year IQ up to par!

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